P&G seals Olympic sponsorship deal

03 September 2009

CINCINNATI: Procter & Gamble, the consumer goods giant, has agreed a deal to sponsor the US teams competing at the next Winter and Summer Olympics, and will use the tie-up to promote 17 of its brands operating in a variety of different categories.

IEG, the research firm, has forecast that sports sponsorship revenues will rise by 0.7%, to $11.5 billion (€8.0bn; £6.8bn), in America this year, following on from an expansion of 15% in 2008.

Currently, Procter & Gamble is thought to direct less than $100 million of its total marketing outlay in the country to this specific channel each year, although its activity in the area is undoubtedly increasing.

According to unofficial estimates, its latest initiative, which covers the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in 2010 and the Summer Games being held in London in 2012, could have a value of around $15m.

P&G now becomes the official sponsor of "Team USA", a label which applies to the personal and beauty care, household cleaning, oral care, pre-packaged potato snacks, and cold, flu and stomach remedy sectors.

Among the brands which will feature in the scheme are Cover Girl, Olay, Pantene, Pringles, Bounty, Pampers, Febreze, Tide, Crest and Oral B.

In terms of marketing possibilities, the new alliance will include "individual athlete partnerships", as well as print and TV ads, in-store marketing materials, PR, "special consumer and customer engagement events" and "online activation", P&G said.

One reason the Cincinnati-based firm opted to pursue this approach was the Olympics' strong appeal among female consumers, teenagers, 18–34 year olds and a number of other key audiences.

Kirk Perry, vp, North America for P&G, said "we always talk about meeting our consumers where they are, and this is certainly where they are."

"We are proud to support America's athletes and engage consumers with integrated programs through this sponsorship that will drive our business and our customers' business."

As previously reported, P&G took on the position of the "Official Locker Room Product" of the NFL earlier this year, a move seen as forming part of a broader effort to increase its appeal among male consumers.

Following its purchase of Gillette, the shaving brand, in 2005, the FMCG titan has also f

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal/P&G; additional content by WARC staff